present - CIPPIC

Maximizing Canada’s Online Presence
CRTC Stakeholder Consultations on New Media Broadcasting
Tamir Israel, Staff Lawyer
November 16, 2011
Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic
Centre for Law, Technology & Society
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
Tel: (613) 562-5800 ext. 2914
Do Not Regulate Online Content
 Short term: No evidence of dramatic cord cutting or
falling broadcast industry revenue; CMF showing
annual increases in revenue
 Long term: Harm to innovation and service
Do Not Regulate Online Content
 Harm to long term online
competitiveness CDN Content
 Access/Spectrum ‘scarcity’ is non-
existent online
For more details on why not to regulate, see CIPPIC’s submission to BTNC CRTC 2011-344,
If not content regulation than what?
 Regulatory options
 ‘Fact-finding’ options
 Wholly Un-Regulatory options
What Can CRTC Do To Make Canadian
Content More Competitive Online?
(How can we get there 1st)
Obstacles to Competitiveness of
Canadian Content online?
 Demand problems
 Incentive issues
 Attention Scarcity
As we shift from a world of scarcity to one of abundance, we are
seeing Canadians play an important role. Record labels like
Nettwerk Records in British Columbia or Arts & Crafts in Toronto
are at the forefront of using the Internet to promote their artists
and benefit from its great potential. Notwithstanding some
doom and gloom, the Canadian digital music market has grown
faster than the U.S. market in each of the past four years. We
rank 7th worldwide in digital sales, virtually identical to our 6th
place ranking for offline sales.
M. Geist, Testimony before Heritage Committee, March 2010,
I. Demand
 Achieve content objectives through
telecom policy
 ‘If you build it, they may come’
 Leverage telecom policy to feed demand
SOURCE: OECD, Fixed and wireless broadband subscriptions per 100
inhabitants, Dec 2010: <>
Falling Behind on Fibre
 FTTH < 1% of Canadian Wired Access
 OECD average is > 12%
SOURCE: OECD, Fixed and wireless broadband subscriptions per 100
inhabitants, Dec 2010: <>
I. Demand
 TRP CRTC 2011-291 approaches universal
access: 5/1 Mbps by 2015
 Quality should be ‘adequate’ for any
online service; Technologically neutral
 Wireline v. Wireless
Universal Adoption
 5/1 Mbps by 2015
 Speed targets are reasonable & achievable
 Objective should be universal adoption not
universal access
 Competition alone does not guarantee
affordable access
Universal Adoption
FCC Cheap Internet Program
 Partnership with Industry (ISPs, PCs)
 Offers eligible families high speed Internet
access + a Computer for $9.95/month
 Calls for a similar initiative in Canada:
Mark Goldberg, <>
Universal Adoption
 Empirical Studies in US on importance of
community access programs
 FCC-sponsored study by SSRC in US concludes:
“Our study identifies a range of factors that make broadband services hard to acquire and
harder to maintain in such communities. Some of these issues could be addressed relatively
easily, such as greater transparency with respect to fees and billing, or better bundling of
services to suit the communication needs of low-income groups…But the study also suggests
that libraries and other intermediaries will remain central institutions for broadband access
in many communities, and consequently for the forms of social and economic participation—
from job searches to education—that increasingly take place online.”
SSRC, “Broadband Adoption in Low-Income Communities”, March 2010, <>
Universal Adoption
 Digital Literacy also critical to adoption, online
 Coherent approach to spectrum required
 Open Spectrum facilitated community access
Digital Strategy? Commission Input? Outreach Mandate?
I. Quality Demand
 TRP CRTC 2011-291: technologically neutral
 LTE wireless & High Throughput Satellite (HTS); Both
are cheaper in high cost areas
 Both can achieve high speeds, but have
jitter/latency issues & higher marginal usage costs
 Latency/jitter:
 Higher marginal costs:
 This, in turn, invites Net Neutrality violations, UBB
II. (Counter)Incentives
 Convergence = Digital Counter Incentives
 In TPN CRTC 2008-19, Canadian content groups
spoke of benefits of P2P
 Net Neutrality essential to ensure emerging digital
platforms can thrive
 Usage-based billing deters online activity
II. Incentives
 Some incumbents moving online
 Empirical research on benefits
and scope of online Canadian
content needed
Consider New Definitions
 How do we measure ‘Canadian Content’
 Broadcasting Act only applies to ‘programming’;
uses of Internet platform(s) are diverse
 But Canadians culture is being spread through
many varied online creations
 New metrics/studies needed to assess these
“The context of this present study, following the publication of federal
government’s consultation paper Improving Canada’s Digital Advantage:
Strategies for Sustainable Prosperity and the ensuing consultation, is the
changing nature of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and
the way they are being used by Canadians. The proliferation of usergenerated content is perhaps the most significant development in the field of
digital content creation over the past decade. As noted in Improving Canada’s
Digital Advantage, “new and increasingly more affordable technology is
putting creative control directly in the hands of consumers and creators”
(Canada, 2010, p. 24).
Yet UGC remains underutilized, understudied and, with respect to public
policy, greatly misunderstood. One of the main features of UGC is that its
creation by non-professionals effectively straddles market and non-market
interests. A 2006 OECD study noted that “most user-generated content
activity is undertaken without the expectation of remuneration or profit.”
FIMS UGC Research Team, “Mobilizing User-Generated Content for Canada’s Digital
Advantage”, Dec 2010, <>
New Value?
 Cultural & Monetary value of UGC Video
 Value of new types of ‘Canadian content’?
 FIMS: growing categories of online creativity:
 Collaborative content (wikis, open source)
 Individual content (blogs, online photos, etc)
 Software modifications/applications (on software platforms)
 All of these contribute to online Canadian cultural
presence in intermingling ways
‘The Power of Open’
Creative Commons, ‘The Power of Open’,
Ancillary Monetary Value:
 TEDTalks; ccMixter; Open University;
More New Value?
 Consider monetary value of cultural
 Platforms/products that rely on fair use
of cultural works generated an average
annual $4.6 Trillion USD (2008, 2009) in
the U.S. Economy
CCIA, “Economic Contribution of Industries Relying on Fair Use”,
II. Incentives
How to convince traditional content producers to get online?
Already happening; Canadian content obligations may deter
Studies demonstrating value of online ‘add-ons’ or transitions;
“In parallel to the technical work necessary to set this up, the NFB developed a very
detailed business plan mapping out the commercial potential of the transactional offer.
We brought on PriceWaterhouseCooper to validate the assumptions and the results we
projected for our business plan. In sum, that work showed there was significant
commercial potential in the move to micro-payments and “freemium” (free and
premium) transactional system.”
CBC: “remains the top ranked Canadian media content site today”
Deloitte, Report, “The Economic Impact of the CBC/Radio‐Canada” (June 2011),
< >
III. Attention Scarcity
 How to stimulate Canadian
content online visibility?
What is Online Canadian Content up against?
Drawing Attention to Online Can Content
 Allowing online platforms to thrive:
 Over 2,000 films/original interactive works;
 over 11 million views of NFB films on NFB platform;
 Do-it-yourself:
 Consider expanded outreach role for CRTC on new media
 Expanded direct online presence, interaction with Canadian new media efforts
 Interaction w/other Gov/stakeholder efforts at providing tools to stimulate online
Canadian media
Open data initiatives spark mashups, new types of content
 proposal Convene stakeholders to consider joint initiatives:
“NFB can work with the private sector to develop a “national screening room”—a fully
functional OTT service that would welcome all Canadian content. It would be non-exclusive
so that producers could make works available on many platforms. It would be controlled
and run by the private sector but powered by NFB’s back-end architecture.”